05 August 2012

Marathi movies, take a bow

First off, for all those who don't know what Marathi is, thats the regional language of Mumbai. The place where I come from and the place I proudly call 'home-final-final'. 

First let me explain the ' home-final-final' bit. There was a guy I worked with who was not exactly super competent when it came to computers and files. This one time he was working on a study plan which underwent a few revisions and each time, he saved it on this desktop with an additional 'final' in the filename ('study plan final' became 'study plan final final' and then became 'study plan final final final'). Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance nightmare, I tell you! But somehow, the idea stuck. N and I have moved a couple places now and while each place is now home, Mumbai remains the 'home-final-final'. 

Coming back to the main topic i.e. Marathi movies, I do not know what is the deal with them these days but they have suddenly become super sensible. There was a time when Marathi movies were exclusively filled with Ashok Saraf and Laxmikant Berde's mindless comedy. Dont get me wrong, they are/were both good actors but the last couple of decades saw them only churn out some pretty idiotic (and repetitive) stuff. Senseless storylines, outdated costumes and embarassing dances made Marathi movies almost unwatchable.

But things probably changed with Shwaas (meaning breath). Here was one of those select first Marathi movies that had a real story and some superlative actors. The journey of a little boy stricken with cancer and his grandpa from the village to the city as they battle fate and time touched a chord. In fact, it was selected to be the India's Oscar entry for 2004. 

Since then, Marathi movies seemed to have gotten a new brain, a new heart and overall a new life altogether. Take for instance Nital (meaning crystal clear), one of my all time favorite Marathi movies. Here is a story of a young girl, a gifted eye specialist , who faces turmoil both within herself & from outside because of her vitiligo (white patches). The crux of the story though is about the reactions she faces when she comes to meet the family of her well educated doctor colleague, whom she has fallen in love with. Watch this movie in case you haven't already- it is a beautifully told story.

3 more Marathi movies which are totally worth a watch.Each of these are very simple stories but good acting coupled with superb story telling makes them an absolute treat:

- Bokya Saatbande (thats the first & last names of the lead character): A story about a young urban, middle class boy whose big heart & empathy for others lead him to help others in a simple ways but with big results.

- Ek cup chya (meaning one cup of tea): Story of a rural bus conductor & his family who face much discomfort & pain when they receive a humongous power bill by error. 

- Masala (meaning spice mix): A heart warming story of a hardworking, well-meaning young couple who somehow never succeed in any business until they realize that the best business for them is the one that comes from their heart.

The last movie was especially fun to watch. Probably because it reminded me so much of my uncle & aunt (mama-mami) back from India. Just like the lead characters in the movie, my uncle & aunt are two of the most tireless, selfless & easy going people I have ever met. I want to especially mention my aunt here, because as nice as my mama is, I really dont think he could have achieved as much without mami's constant, smiles & support. Hats off to you both!

Finally, for anyone who wants to watch Marathi movies or shows, but doesn't have the channels, apalimarathi.com is a superb online and FREE resource. You should be able to watch these movies on this website (& probably more!) 


1 comment:

Aditya Khatkhate said...

Very nice review, V! Need to watch a few of them mentioned in there..